Faith is the beginning.....

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Incredible Christian by A.W. Tozer

Tozer speaks truth here. Worth the read....

by A.W. Tozer

The cross stands in bold opposition to the natural man. Its philosophy
runs contrary to the processes of the unregenerate mind, so that
Paul could say bluntly that the preaching of the cross is to them
that perish foolishness. To try to find a common ground between
the message of the cross and man's fallen reason is to try the
impossible, and if persisted in must result in an impaired reason,
a meaningless cross and a powerless Christianity.

But let us bring the whole matter down from the uplands of theory
and simply observe the true Christian as he puts into practice the
teachings of Christ and His apostles. Note the contradictions:

The Christian believes that in Christ he has died, yet he is more
alive than before and he fully expects to live forever. He walks on
earth while seated in heaven and though born on earth he finds
that after his conversion he is not at home here. Like the nighthawk,
which in the air is the essence of grace and beauty but on the
ground is awkward and ugly, so the Christian appears at his best
in the heavenly places but does not fit well into the ways of the
very society into which he was born.

The Christian soon learns that if he would be victorious as a son
of heaven among men on earth he must not follow the common
pattern of mankind, but rather the contrary. That he may be safe
he puts himself in jeopardy; he loses his life to save it and is in
danger of losing it if he attempts to preserve it. He goes down to
get up. If he refuses to go down he is already down, but when he
starts down he is on his way up.

He is strongest when he is weakest and weakest when he is
strong. Though poor he has the power to make others rich, but
when he becomes rich his ability to enrich others vanishes. He
has most after he has given most away and has least when he
possesses most.

He may be and often is highest when he feels lowest and most
sinless when he is most conscious of sin. He is wisest when he
knows that he knows not and knows least when he has acquired
the greatest amount of knowledge. He sometimes does most by
doing nothing and goes furthest when standing still. In heaviness
he manages to rejoice and keeps his heart glad even in sorrow.

The paradoxical character of the Christian is revealed constantly.
For instance, he believes that he is saved now, nevertheless he
expects to be saved later and looks forward joyfully to future
salvation. He fears God but is not afraid of Him. In God's presence
he feels overwhelmed and undone, yet there is nowhere he would
rather be than in that presence. He knows that he has been
cleansed from his sin, yet he is painfully conscious that in his
flesh dwells no good thing.

He loves supremely One whom he has never seen, and though
himself poor and lowly he talks familiarly with One who is King of
all kings and Lord of all lords, and is aware of no incongruity in so
doing. He feels that he is in his own right altogether less than
nothing, yet he believes without question that he is the apple of
God's eye and that for him the Eternal Son became flesh and
died on the cross of shame.

The Christian is a citizen of heaven and to that sacred citizenship
he acknowledges first allegiance; yet he may love his earthly
country with that intensity of devotion that caused John Knox to
pray "O God, give me Scotland or I die."

He cheerfully expects before long to enter that bright world above,
but he is in no hurry to leave this world and is quite willing to await
the summons of his Heavenly Father. And he is unable to under-
stand why the critical unbeliever should condemn him for this; it
all seems so natural and right in the circumstances that he sees
nothing inconsistent about it.

The cross-carrying Christian, furthermore, is both a confirmed
pessimist and an optimist the like of which is to be found nowhere
else on earth.

When he looks at the cross he is a pessimist, for he knows that
the same judgment that fell on the Lord of glory condemns in that
one act all nature and all the world of men. He rejects every human
hope out of Christ because he knows that man's noblest effort is
only dust building on dust.

Yet he is calmly, restfully optimistic. If the cross condemns the
world the resurrection of Christ guarantees the ultimate triumph
of good throughout the universe. Through Christ all will be well
at last and the Christian waits the consummation. Incredible Christian!

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